A film about Merata Mita, the pioneering Maori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film will launch the inaugural Rotorua Indigenous Film Festival.
The film festival will be taking place from November 1 to November 3 2018.
The movie was created by her youngest son, archivist Heperi Mita, in collaboration with his siblings, delivers a richly personal portrait of one of a significant filmmaker in New Zealand as well as a key figure in the growth of the Maori screen industry.
Bay of Plenty Film is supporting RIFF, which is the brainchild of Piripi Curtis, Mike Jonathan and Lara Northcroft of Steambox collective, a group of Rotorua-based film makers.
Audiences will also be treated to a special screening of Maui’s Hook, produced by Karen Waaka-Tibble and an opportunity to view The Breaker Upperers, starring Madeline Sami, James Rolleston and Jackie Van Beek.
In addition to these feature movies, over 18 Maori-led short films will be screened alongside films from other indigenous people from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia and the Pacific Islands. There will be opportunities for filmmakers to network and attend workshops and social events.
The festival will open with a powhiri at Tama-te-kapua Marae, and will conclude with a gala function at Mitai Maori Village. Films will be screened at the Old Odeon theatre, and local hotels will be hosting national and international guests.
“As well as honouring Merata Mita, the Steambox Collective have organised this festival out of a desire to develop indigenous cultural and arts projects throughout New Zealand, adding to the cultural well-being of their community,” says Festival Organiser, Mike Jonathan.
They wish to support opportunities for people to participate, to learn and to experience film, arts, media and cultural projects within New Zealand.
Some of the proceeds from the Festival will be used to purchase emergency response kits for use during catastrophic weather and environmental events throughout the South Pacific Islands.